A Sweet Corn-less Fourth - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

A Sweet Corn-less Fourth

 By: Jason Rantala



The Fourth of July in Iowa is known for many things, but near the top of the list is fresh sweet corn.

This year it wont be coming from Iowa, at least in time to celebrate.

"I'm sure it's a disappointment for those that look forward to the Iowa corn on the grill, with the burgers and brats," said sweet corn farmer Ron Deardorff.

Ron Deardorff planted his 205 acres in the first week in April. Back then, it looked like everything would be on time.

"It's a combination of cool temperatures, excessive moisture in shorter periods of time. A lot of cloudy days, so it's just not conducive to rapid corn growth," said Deardorff.

In his 30 years of planting, Deardorff says this is the latest he will be harvesting. Contrast that with last year, which he says was his earliest harvest ever.

"Last year, we were probably a week ahead of normal. When we started picking it was June 28th, and this year we're about two weeks later than normal, which is the latest I've ever started picking. Last year was the earliest I've ever started picking," said Deardorff.

Right now it's clear the corn just isn't ready.  The kernels haven't fully developed yet.

Deardorff says he is still pollinating his crop and doesn't plan on picking until the week of the 15th.

Until then, Iowans will have to rely on other states, likely Georgia, he says, for its sweet corn fix. 

Deardorff says he always tries to pick his corn by the first week of July.

Some years he picks it by the fourth, other years the sixth or seventh.




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